The Lagos State Government on Tuesday urged security personnel to comply with the State Traffic Law and desist from plying Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor along the Ikorodu Road axis.
General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Bashir Braimah spoke on the backdrop of a joint enforcement against BRT violation with the military police and the Nigerian police carried out on Monday.
He lamented the rate at which military personnel flout BRT law with impunity, noting that the 15 vehicles found plying the BRT corridors during the exercise were either driven by the military or with military paraphernalia hanging in the vehicles.
Amongst the vehicles found plying the BRT corridor was a silver Toyota Matrix 103 AT fully loaded with top military personnel.
Also accosted include was a bus belonging to the Nigeria Army college of Nursing with registration number NA 830 BOA, a army green Peugeot with registration number NA 284 B0/1, silver Nissan KTU 820 AY, Silver colour Toyota Camry KJA 233 TB, green Hilux truck DHQ 232, Navy colour Volkswagen bust with registration number MUS 693 CY driven by a fully kitted Naval officer. Others are APP 115 BY and KTU 239 AH, amongst others.
He wondered why military personnel who should be the custodian of the Traffic Law were instead working against it.
He added that law is no respecter of nobody and the road traffic law must be obeyed in other ensure the safety of lives and property.
He said some personnel of the Nigerian military threw caution and decency into the wind when they descended heavily on a LASTMA official Peter Owolabi, for daring to take the photographs of their black Honda Accord car with number registration CP 839 YAB which violated the BRT corridor at Obanikoro bus stop at Ikorodu road.
The unruly attitude of the personnel attracted the attention of members of the public, who jeered and admonished them to respect civil authority.
“The officers were stopped during a routine exercise to prohibit the illegal use of BRT bus corridor by other motorists. The violators were presented with fine ticket in accordance with the new approach of the agency of booking offenders on the spot and allow continuing with journey without their vehicle being impounded”.
“However, unlike their civilian counterparts, the Military officers refused to collect the tickets and rather opted to obstruct movement of other vehicles from exiting the corridor and in the process caused pandemonium and created ugly scenes unbefitting of a modern army”, Braimah said.
The LASTMA boss said the personnel physically attacked passersby who dared to record the incident and in the process, manhandled the LASTMA cameraman and damaged his camera.
“It’s worthy to note that LASTMA officials are only empowered by the law to ensure orderliness, sanity and safety to Lagos roads”.
“The attack was a clear case of what LASTMA personnel usually go through in the hands of some uniform personnel at a time that the state government is making effort to restore orderliness on state roads. It has become a habit for some of the military personnel driving commercial buses in uniform to flout the state traffic law and collaborate or encourage commercial drivers to violate traffic law on Lagos roads”, Braimah said.